New Zealand Rack of Lamb
oven roasted rack of lamb with an herbed dijon mustard crust, served with a choice of brandied cherry demi glace, rich red wine mint sauce or shallot bordelaise
Surf & Turf
petite filet mignon with dijon cream sauce & two crab cakes with tartar & red bell pesto sauces
Angus Filet Mignon
grilled to order with a choice of mushroom red wine sauce, béarnaise butter or dijon mustard cream
Sparrow opened in 1989 and we've been dining there periodically since 1990. We've never had a bad meal, or bad service, or even less than a 5 star meal or 5 star service. This restaurant knows what it's doing, does it very well, and does it very consistently.
More recently in the COVID era, their health, safety, and compliance measures are equally exemplary. We felt very well protected while dining.
So happy Cafe Sparrow was open again as it is one of our favorite, if not our favorite, restaurant in all of Santa Cruz county. Small and intimate with a cozy dining atmosphere. My husband and I have been coming here since we moved to Aptos 33 years ago ago and have missed it so much. We enjoy every meal we have there. Have never had a bad meal. Their service is impeccable, their wait staff know how to treat their customers. The food is always spot on. Other restaurants could learn how to do it all from Cafe Sparrow. We don’t need a special occasion to go there. We always find one though ! It happened to be Friday the 13th and we met on a Friday the 13th many years ago so we called it our “anniversary” as it was a type of anniversary for us. Since the Sparrow was closed for our wedding anniversary we used this as a belated anniversary dinner. We never go anywhere else for special occasions. So glad Cafe Sparrow is open again. We will be back again very soon.
Very nice to experience the top level food and service again while still feeling safe from COVID in the dining room. Plus all of Sparrow's rituals were retained including the specials signboard and the amuse bouche.
Scrumptious flavor. Attentive service. Calm romantic vibes.
Always a favorite...NEVER a disappointment...!...inside dining was nicely separated, servers were well masked...felt totally safe...food and wine and desserts were just great...a Jewel for our community..support the heck out of them if you can...
Outstanding service and food! Can’t wait to go back!
Always a good time and great food. I highly recommend it.
This place is adorable. Romantically charming. Great food and friendly service!
Rack of lamb, spicy crab cake, sesame ahi tuna are all very delicious.
The restaurant is doing a nice job of distancing. There was only another couple in the front room with us. More folks were in the second room.
The wait staff (Helen) is excellent, polite and attentive.
They do offer 1/2 glass wine for some of their selections which was perfect for me to try the merlot.
Hubby liked the duck, $35. I don’t care too much for duck as it tends to be chewy and I choked on a piece many years ago. Brussels sprouts, mashed pumpkin also arrived on the plate. His scallop appetizer was good too.
I really liked the Caesar salad with generous strips of anchovies. The seared crusted ahi was tender and good. Lots of sesame seeds over the fish which also came with wasabi soy dipping sauce, puréed pumpkin, Brussels sprouts.
Hubby managed to stuff dessert into his stomach afterwards. I had a bite and the mini bombe was good too. Lots of folks were doing takeout. It’s a place I’ve like to return to in the future
Great little find on our way back to SF. A twist on French cuisine. Excellent service!
We had a very good meal there this past Saturday night! Where we sat, we didn't have much privacy, but it is what it is! Our little waitress was pretty good too. Overall, a very good experience!
Cafe Sparrow is my favorite restaurant in the area. The environment is charming and the food is superb....for both lunch and dinner. Wonderful wine list too and I have always enjoyed consistently wonderful, friendly and attentive service. I can't wait to return. Thank you to the entire kitchen and staff.
It's hard to decide whether to go with a menu favorite or pick something from the specials board! We did both and shared bites. Love their appetizers and the spacing between the entrée was perfect. The salmon was delicious and the Sparrow salad with chicken was perfect with moist chicken on top. The time was early so not full but everyone seemed to be having a great time. We saw lot's of people picking up to-go food which is an idea for after work.
Excellent food and service as usual.
I am glad they're back to business
Fabulous food! Great service! Lovely atmosphere! Excellent wine!
Very good food, the salmon was cooked perfectly and had so much flavor! The wine selection was great with wines from local growers as well as others. We were there around 6 so the place was not full but they have made it very easy to socially distanced and when a couple left, the cleaning was amazing. We felt very safe and welcomed. Everyone who was working was friendly and efficient. Cafe Sparrow is the best place in Aptos for fresh food cooked with a flair and they take advantage of our local ingredients.
Had the surf and turf. It was so good and you could have cut the petite filet with a spoon. So tender and tasty. Tables were well spread out.
We had a nice dinner at Cafe Sparrow, but there were a few issues that kept it from being great. The decor is looking tired, and could use some sprucing up. The crab cakes were tasty, but barely room temperature and tiny portions. There was a tomato half for garnish, and it was mealy and tasteless - inexcusable at the height of heirloom tomato season. And finally, we indicated it was a birthday celebration, both through Open Table and by mentioning it to the server. It would have been nice if they had offered a small dessert - most high-end restaurants do this for special occasions. On the positive side, the lamb was excellent and the service very good. I'm aware that these are difficult times for restaurants, and we're happy to support our local businesses. But considering Cafe Sparrow's prices, I'd like to see them up their game a bit.
Food is always amazing. Our server was a sweetheart. Love this restaurant.
Great, as always! Thank you.
We were SO excited to be able to eat in-house after they were closed for so long due to Covid-19. We each had an appetizer that for only a few dollars more you can make it into a small entrée. I had the scallops (absolutely delectable) and my husband had the pork belly special. I didn't get to try it because he wasn't about to share! We each had a salad and of course, the bread pudding and cheesecake for dessert. We LOVE Cafe Sparrow and highly recommend them for any occasion.
We were on vacation and looked up, beat meals in Aptos. We were not mislead. The meal was excellent. We are very happy to have found Cafe Sparrow and will be back!
Always a great restaurant to have a nice dinner at
We love going to Cafe Sparrow. The staff is always welcoming and professional. Their specials are always good. But for the first time my friends medium Filet was blue and had to be sent back. I ordered the pork chop which was on the bone and thick. When I cut it away it was raw near the bone and for safety reasons I could not eat that portion. The rest of the meal was very good.
It was truly such a charming restaurant. Their menu is great and specials so unique even during this time of COVID. Pro Tip: Wine is half off every Tuesday! (glass and bottles)
Wonderful dinner with great local wine and very personal service. Have dined in Aptos for over 35 years and can't remember a more enjoyable meal. Thank you
This is one of our favorite restaurants in Aptos! The food is always beyond delicious. It’s our local 4 star restaurant! The wait staff is always friendly and provide great service.
We love Café Sparrow! We lived in Aptos 35 years and it was a regular experience going to the Sparrow.
We have eaten all over the world and this place is in the category as one of the finest restaurants because of the fresh food, blend of ingredients, interesting combinations and the food is Squisito!
We had a great dinner Friday night! The atmosphere is like a little neighborhood French Café and the service was good but not overly intrusive. The bus person was great as he knew exactly when we would like a water refill, when to clear the plates, anticipated the need for something. Our server was moving all the time between the tables. We have never had a bad meal and the dinner specials are good but the regular menu is great if you don't see what you like on the Specials Board. When we need a break we always think Café Sparrow!
The food was exceptional. We ordered appetizers, wine, dinner. My husband had duck. I do not like duck but he suggested I try it, guess what, it was great. I had the salmon and it was the best I've ever had. I ate it how they suggest they regularly make it and I'm happy I did. The only thing we were not impressed by was the 3-shrimp appetizer. The sauce was good but we were not impressed by the shrimp. Overall, the portions were a little on the small side of what we are used to but we were stuffed somehow after the balance of everything. It was so delicious. For an expensive dine-out evening we were pleased after having spent some $. :)
We were pleased to be able to dine inside and Cafe Sparrow did a great job in making it covid safe!!
We enjoyed our meal from start to finish!
great service and good food. Would certainly dine there again.
The food was tasty-we ordered the fondue (Gigi) as an app and it was underwhelming and watery, my duck was good and my sweetie enjoyed his filet and lobster. I tasted it and it was much better than my duck (a special) that didn’t have a very good sear on the fat. Dessert was ok.
So very glad The Sparrow has reopened for seating. My favorite restaurant in the Santa Cruz area. Ambiance, service, food are all outstanding. We used to visit weekly and plan on renewing that wonderful habit.
We loved our experience here! Such wonderful service and great food.
Look forward to when they restart Sunday Brunch! !
Great twin lobster tails. Clam chowder was excellent
This was the first place my husband and I have eaten at since the pandemic. Sparrow was extremely cautious about safety precautions and tables were spaced out. The food was excellent and it was a real pleasure eating there to celebrate my husband's birthday. We will eat there again when we're back in Aptos. Thank you!
Lovely as always.
Cafe Sparrow offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (831) 688-6238.
Cafe Sparrow is rated 4.9 stars by 639 OpenTable diners.
Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.